Zachary T. Rich
Hunterdon County Commissioners Designate December 7, 2021 ‘Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day’
Hunterdon County’s Board of Commissioners, joined by County Veterans, at the December 7th Board meeting, designated December 7, 2021 as Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, as part of a ceremony recognizing and honoring the lives lost, particularly fifteen New Jerseyans, on the 80th Anniversary of the attack that initiated the United States entry into World War II.
Board Director Susan J. Soloway stated, “Today marks a most important date in American history, the 80th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7th, 1941, well known to all of us from our history classes and the news reels of the time as, in the words of President Franklin Roosevelt, ‘a date that will live in infamy.’
It is a date, like September 11th, 2001, that should always be remembered by all Americans. With this Proclamation we honor the memory of the 2403 Americans whose lives were taken that day – Sailors, Soldiers, Marines, including fifteen New Jerseyans, and even 68 civilians. We recognize their service to our nation and mourn their loss.”
The New Jerseyans killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor, in Honolulu, Hawaii, on the morning of December 7, 1941 included: Ralph Burdette, Francis Day, Eugene Eberhardt, Joseph Hittorff, Walter Holzworth, Neil Lucey, Earl Melton, Albert Peterson, Jr., Eugene Rowe, Nicholas Runiak, Henry Schroeder, Walter Simon, Irvin Thompson, Robert Wyckoff and Michael Zwarun, Jr.
Soloway noted, “The number of people who have a memory of the events of that day are quickly diminishing, so it is incumbent upon the rest of us to ensure it is a date that should never be forgotten, and the lives lost are remembered and honored.”
Commissioner Zach Rich, who serves as the Board’s Veterans liaison, said, “Among those were many 18, 19 and 20-year-old young, enlisted sailors, many of whom were still asleep on their ships at anchor. A few were as young as 17.
A very sobering thought. All those young men lost, just as they were beginning their adult lives. It surely was so devastating to all their families.
We must honor their memory, and all who were lost that day. The service of those at Pearl Harbor deserves special recognition and this date in history must always be remembered by the people of our nation.”
The Commissioners’ Proclamation designating December 7, 2021 as Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, stated in part, ‘Those we honor were the first American military casualties of the Second World War, the first members of what would later be recognized as the greatest generation, and it was the memory of the loss of their lives that galvanized the American spirit, spurred millions of citizens into action as volunteers, and demonstrated our resilience and strength as a patriotic nation.’